The Church needs more widows like the ones in our Scriptures this Sunday! I had the experience of being in charge of three Catholic parishes, and let me tell you, finances are tough! People who drove me crazy included those well-intentioned volunteers who figured they did not need to give much to offertory because they were donating their time. Too bad time does not pay the utility bills! Then there were brides spending thousands on their wedding but balking at the modest fee for use of the church. Oh, and the more than 33% of registered parishioners in every parish who contribute less than $300 a year to the offertory, but who expect the heated, cleaned, maintained, insured, staffed and lovely church just to be there when they drop by. Philanthropic studies have documented repeatedly that wealthy people give proportionately less to charity than poorer people. The widows in today’s readings gave despite their need, not from leftover abundance. They trusted that God would provide for them. The widow in our Hebrew Scripture did not decide that her family came first, so she could not share their last food with the prophet. The widow in our Gospel did not keep one penny for herself but gave two. Catholics get upset when parish leaders talk about money while the widow in our Gospel saw the point of preserving her temple. Pray this week for all the pastoral leaders worried about money!
—Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia